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Making plans for 2013-14

Ed Tait's guide to Winnipeg's pre-season preparations

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Free Press hockey writer Ed Tait offers up a handy-dandy guide to some of the players to watch during the Winnipeg Jets 2013-14 training camp:

 

THREE INTRIGUING ADDITIONS

1. THE OFFENSIVE PUNCH
40 RW Devin Setoguchi

Former 30-goal man with San Jose potted 13 for Minnesota last year. But the Jets will be his third team in as many years. Pencil him in on the right flank, for now, of the second line. The knock on him is he needs more consistency and must be engaged every night to be productive.

"When I'm at my best I'm physical, which kind of gets me involved, and I get to the net," said Setoguchi. "I'm not going to make some serious dekes but I've got to score the dirty goals, get to the front of the net and win puck battles and use my speed as much as I can. My biggest thing is the compete level has got to be really high. That's when a lot of guys are successful."

2. MR. VERSATILE
67 LW/RW Michael Frolik

Arrives fresh from a Stanley Cup championship with Chicago, where he had 10 points in the playoffs. Can play either wing, adds more speed to the forward lines and is a dynamite penalty killer. Scored 21 goals in each of his first two years in the NHL with the Panthers, but the tallies have been down since. He's also one of Ondrej Pavelec's longtime pals.

3. UNSUNG MAN
|15 LW Matt Halischuk

Had "shoulder-stabilization" surgery in the spring after injuring himself late in Nashville's season. He brings leadership and some grit, even if the knock on him is he's a little undersized (6-0, 185) to play that role. Did score 15 goals in 73 games in 2011-12 despite only averaging 11:15 per contest.

 

NEW VETS NOW WITH THE JETS

7 D Ian White

The Jets confirmed Wednesday that veteran NHL defenceman Ian White has been signed to a professional tryout contract. The 29-year-old Steinbach product has appeared in 503 NHL games with Toronto, Calgary, Carolina, San Jose and Detroit. Does he stick?

2 D Adam Pardy

Big dude at 6-4, 220 who keeps it simple. Has 200 NHL games under his belt with Calgary, Dallas and Buffalo, but is hardly an offensive threat with the puck.

20 RW Andrew Gordon

Has played for Washington, Anaheim and Vancouver but is likely headed to St. John's.

21 RW Jerome Samson

Appeared in 46 games in Carolina, but was with Charlotte in the AHL last season.

 

AU REVOIR

These ex-Jets have found work elsewhere or are still looking for a new address:

C Alex Burmistrov: Restricted free agent who signed with the KHL's Ak Bars Kazan for $2 million and torched some bridges after leaving by lashing out at coach Claude Noel.

C/W Nik Antropov: Unrestricted free agent who signed with the KHL's Barys Astana, his home during 2012-13 lockout.

RW Antti Miettinen: Couldn't find work in the NHL as an unrestricted free agent so he signed with HC Fribourg-Gott©ron of the Swiss National League A.

C/W Mike Santorelli: Played just 10 games with the Jets after being acquired from the Panthers at the trade deadline. Signed with his hometown Canucks on July 6 as a free agent.

D Ron Hainsey: Gave the Jets some solid minutes last year, but remains an unsigned unrestricted free agent.

C/W Kyle Wellwood: Veteran of 489 NHL games, including 116 with the Jets, but currently a player looking for a team.

D Derek Meech: The 29-year-old Manitoban saw a crowded Jets blue-line and signed with Dinamo Minsk of the KHL this summer.

D Arturs Kulda: Not in the team's plans; likely headed to Dynamo Riga of the KHL.

 

THE YOUNG STARS

55 C Mark Scheifele

There's a second-line centre spot waiting -- and potentially a pair of dandy wingers flanking him in Evander Kane and Devon Setoguchi -- if the 20-year-old can prove he's ready.

"Mark just has to play, I don't think he can try to do too much," said Jets coach Claude Noel. "He's just going to have to be a reliable player in both ends of the ice and play a 200-foot game like everybody else. He has skill and we're going to see that. That's the way he plays. He doesn't need to do anything outside of what he's capable of doing. I don't think he needs to put a lot of pressure on himself to be this guy... let's just take one day at a time and just focus on getting better every day."

3 D Jacob Trouba

He's got a nasty streak and outstanding skills. Is the 19-year-old defenceman ready for the show or does he need grooming in St. John's? Many already have him pencilled in to the Jets' Top 6.

"Jacob has a chance to make this team, we'll see how he performs," said Noel. "I liked his game in Penticton (at the Young Stars Tournament) and what I saw there. He's a guy that was with us at the end of the season and although he didn't play, he's played at the world championships and at pretty high levels. He's a guy that we see having a pretty good opportunity here."

 

UNDER THE MICROSCOPE

12 C Olli Jokinen

Signed as a potential No. 1 centre in the summer of 2012, Jokinen is now battling to reclaim his career after an icky 2013 campaign. Slot him in to the No. 2 or 3 spot down the middle but the Jets hope he rediscovers some touch around the net.

 

KEEP AN EYE ON

25 D Zach Redmond

There was a lot to like about what he flashed in eight games a year ago, although consistency was an issue. Recovered quickly from a horrific life-threatening on-ice incident last winter and if he's back and with the big club it will be a helluva story.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 12, 2013 D3

History

Updated on Thursday, September 12, 2013 at 8:41 AM CDT: Replaces photo

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